CHA Dearborn Homes

The Chicago Housing Authority is one of the largest owners of rental property in America, providing homes to more than 50,000 families and individuals. In 2000, the CHA announced its “Plan for Transformation,” the largest and most ambitious redevelopment effort of public housing in the history of the United States. Part of the plan included rehabbing the CHA’s entire stock of public housing. The first project to get a classic makeover was the Dearborn Homes, a 16-acre development on State Street just South of the Loop.

In 2007 and ’08, Northwoods was contracted for Phase II of the ongoing $165.6 million renovation scheduled for completion in 2012. Northwoods took part in the complete renovation of two six-story buildings and one nine-story building, including replacing all heating components, complete heating and gas piping, new makeup air systems, and installing new toilet and kitchen exhaust systems, heating pumps, and penthouse mechanical rooms. Logistics dictated that all major mechanical equipment (boilers, makeup air units, hydronic specialty items) be crane-lifted to the penthouses of the six-story unoccupied buildings in the near-proximity of buildings that were occupied. Northwoods completed the project’s piping systems for all terminal heat under controlled conditions in its fabrication shop, assuring that the project was completed on time and without the risk of on-site injury.

“We appreciated [Northwoods’] attention to detail and their willingness to be partners and make the project come through. We needed them to perform at a high level, and they really did. No project gets done without obstacles along the way. Their willingness to come up with solutions and willingness to put forth whatever it took to resolve a problem was integral.”

Mark Michuda, Michuda Construction, Co.